tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 25, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST
presented to him. >> tonight, why donald trump's voting delusion matters and why, as the executive orders fly, republicans are cheering. democrats keep up the fight on nominees. >> i don't know why you won't be willing to answer whether or not you're in favor of block granting medicaid. that's not complicated. >> the latest alternative fact checking from the briefing room. >> the presidents actions today will create tens of thousands of new jobs. are the national parks back to subtweeting the president? and inside the "washington post" report of fury and tumble already boiling over inside the trump white house. >> and they said donald trump did not draw well. i said it was almost raining. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we are five days into the presidency of donald trump although we should note the white house considers this to be only president trump's second "working day."
and already it's easy to imagine republican leaders in washington behind closed doors rolling their eyes at the new president at his obsession with the size of his inauguration crowd, his boasting about magazine cover appearances in front of the cia memorial wall, his ridiculous and obviously false claim which we'll discuss later on that he only lost the popular vote because millions of "illegals" voted for hillary clinton. but you haven't seen republican leaders speaking out against the new president for one simple reason -- it has been a great few days for the republican party. president trump is giving them just what they always hoped. these are executive orders to build the dakota access and keystone xl oil pipelines, a big priority for the republican party that receives millions of donations from the oil and gas industry but have never been able to get it done on their own. >> the regulatory process in this country has become a tangled up mess and very unfair to people. that's a big one. >> that's a big one right there.
just the latest example of trump doing exactly what you would expect from a republican president. yesterday surrounded entirely by men president trump signed an executive order reinstating a rule bars foreign aid or federal funding for any international programs that provide abortions or crucially any information about the procedure. president trump has also signed executive orders to ease the "regulatory burdens of obamacare" to freeze hiring for federal workers, to begin the u.s. withdrawal from the transpacific partnership trade deal. with the exception of that last one, tpp, all of this very likely would have happened under a president rubio or a president cruz. so far trump has been the sort of president republican political activist grover norquist called for four years ago who said he wanted a president who can hold a pen. >> we just need a president to sign this stuff. [ applause ] we don't need someone to think it up or design it.
we have a house and a senate -- the leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the house and the senate so focus on electing the most conservative republican who can win in each house seat and the most conservative republican who can win in each senate seat and then pick a republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the united states. >> president trump will be signing more than just executive orders, of course, and house speaker paul ryan has long sought to cut social insurance programs that are widely and wildly popular among americans, including the republican base. during the campaign, trump said he would protect those programs, unlike other republicans. >> i'm not going to cut social security like every other republican and i'm not going to cut medicare or medicaid. every other republican is going to cut. and even if they wouldn't, they don't know what to do because they don't know where the money is. i do. >> now that trump is president, republicans seem to think he'll come around. at the senate confirmation
hearing today for representative nick mulvaney, that's president trump's pick to be the director of the office of management and budget, senator lindsey graham asked mulvaney to get president trump to change his mind and mulvaney made it clear he is very amenable. >> will you tell him that the promise you made about medicare and social security is going to lead to their demise if you don't change that promise? >> yes, sir. >> we should note that's not quite true factually in terms of the actuarial projections. lator senator bob corker said president trump's positions on those programs is "totally unrealistic" and asked if trump understands that. >> i have to imagine that the president knew what he was getting when he asked me to fill this role so i look forward -- >> so you think he understands that we have to deal with all of these issues? >> i'd like to think it's why he hired me. >> trump ran a candidate who would shake the republican party, bend it to his will but so far -- it is very early -- we've seen the reverse with trump channeling the priorities, vision, even the granular policy
obsessions at the core of the contemporary gop. the president might seem different but so far the old republican party remains very much intact. joining me now, democratic representative keith ellison, candidate for chair of the democratic national committee. do you agree, congressman, you could have expected everything we've seen these first few days with the exception of tpp from anyone that won that nomination were they to be elected president for the republican party? >> yes, i do. as a matter of fact, you know, they got more in store, chris. they got plans but we'll fight him every step of the way but we'll also remind the american people, particularly the ones who voted for him, that he's the one who said he would not do this. he's going to break a promise and we're going to expose him as a liar. >> when you say "break a promise," are you speaking specifically about medicare, medicaid and social security which are all entities that he said he would not cut? >> yes. and i believe we should play the
quote back to people because when he finally gets bent over to nick mulvaney's point of view of republicans in the senate, he will not be able to deny he made that promise to the american people. >> okay, so there's two ways to understand this from the democratic perspective. one is that the distance between the president's position on these big social insurance programs and the core belief of the republican party, something paul ryan has been trying to do for literally decades in his career if public life which is to cut them or privatize them, you -- do you view this that as a wedge in which you can partner with the president against his own party or inevitable he will come around to the mulvaney/ryan view? >> i view it as a situation in which we will demonstrate to the american people that he is either going to be standing with them as he said he was or he is going to fail them spectacularly but he will do it in front of the watching eyes of the
american people. we'll make sure of it. >> there's a report about new executive orders happening tomorrow. they concern immigration. this is a reuters report and unconfirmed as of now but trump's orders expect to involve restricting access to the u.s. for refugees and some visa holders from iraq, iran, libya, somalia, sudan, syria and yemen. obviously if it happens we'll get the details. do you have a reaction on that? >> well, it looks like this muslim ban he inaugurated his campaign with and started his whole campaign with is something that he's sticking to and that's of great concern to me. basically he's trying to use these countries as a surrogate for religion, it appears, which i believe is unconstitutional. i have faith the civil rights community won't let this stand. i believe people will step up, sue and make sure that this kind of thing is not going to go unchallenged. >> we should note, again, we don't have the language were it
to be the case that it's country-based rather than religious based, it also would have the effect of stopping refugees who are christians in places like syria and iraq which is something the president himself expressed a great deal of concern over specifically during the campaign. >> well, we share the concern with the christian community, we absolutely do. we think that the terrorists who are harming the people of the countries you mentioned are all precious and important no matter what religion they may have. if they happen to be a particular religious minority, we are in solidarity with them but the answer is not to shut fleeing people down from running away from the worst that humanity has to offer. america has always been a place that helped people who were refugees fleeing tyranny and now trump is saying we're no longer that nation and that's a shame. and, again, as you say, the reports may be unconfirmed but i've been hearing it in so many different places i have a feeling there's something there. >> finally, i want to ask you this. are you confident there is not a single democratic vote in the house or senate for cut for medicaid block granting which would be a way of cutting medicaid and might be the point of the spear that many people
were talking about was the topic of some hearings. are you confident there's not a single democratic vote for that and if there is is it your job to call out those democrats? >> yeah, i believe that as a member of congress, which i am right now and the chair of the -- co-chair of the progressive caucus, i am going to stand for social security, medicare and medicaid and urge each and every one of my colleagues to stand firm with the american people. these are critical programs. social security is earned benefit. it can be changed. first of all, it's a good program but if anybody wants to approve it, let's lift the cap. there are plenty of ways to move forward in a progressive way but to try to take people's retirement security away we won't tolerate it. we don't care who it is. but i want to mention one more thing. these two executive orders regarding the pipelines, we filed and confirmed reports that trump has a financial interest in the energy transfer partners which is the dakota access pipeline and trans-canada. financial -- and trans-canada
stock went up when news about this executive order came out. here again the monetization of the american presidency is something that everybody in the united states needs to pay close attention to. >> i should note sean spicer was asked about that today and acknowledged it and said it's a few thousand dollars for a billionaire but he made no attempts to deny the fact this action would probably increase the value of the holdings of the president of the united states who has not divested as we know well. representative keith ellison, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you, sir. joining me now, sam seder, katie packer, former deputy campaign manager for mitt romney's 2012 presidential campaign. katie, i want to start with you. i remember mitt romney saying he was going to build keystone with his bare hands i believe was the line, if that's what it took. do you agree the first few days
when you take away the behavior of the president of the united states, which we'll talk about in a bit, the thing he is putting pen to paper on are all things you could have imagined in another republican presidency? >> absolutely. i mean, there have been some moments that are cringe worthy no doubt but the official things that president trump has done in these last couple days are things that conservatives and republicans are very, very enthusiastic about and feel like have been a long time coming. so these are things that are only going to serve to energize and excite the republican base and conserve tifseratives across country and the folks that will vote for trump. >> this has been a thesis that you have had, sam. trump is aberrant and taking over the republican party and distinct from it or he is the apotheosis from it. he is the republican party, the republican party is him. the first four days seem to lend credence to that theory. >> oh, everything he is doing is purely republican and conservative in terms of the actual actions, there's this
other sideshow, the fact his own advisors think he might be stark raving mad which is very possible but the other thing i would adjust to correct katie to a certain extent, there's no evidence that there's broad-based support for any of this because remember, during -- >> not so sure about that. >> well, i know you wouldn't be. but during the election donald trump was not running on nearly half of this stuff. he wasn't talking about cutting social security, he wasn't talking about cutting medicare, he wasn't talking about a whole litany of shutting down the epa. there is no indication that the average republican voter cares about any of this stuff. >> i've seen plenty of research that tells me otherwise. >> hold on for one second. let me ask you this. when you started your pack our principles, which ostensibly were to defend republican principles, why was it against
donald trump the person who ended up winning your primary? it was because you thought there was a difference in what he was running on and what you stood for and so did the people who made him the republican primary winner. >> these two things have nothing to do with each other. what i'm telling you is after many, many years of researching republican primary voters that there's very, very broad support for the keystone pipeline. there's very, very broad support for eliminating funding to foreign agencies that support abortion. there's very broad support for many of these things that president trump has done in the last 48 hours and i can tell you if you look at my facebook feed, republicans are enthusiastic about these actions. >> and this is the republican party, right? so what we're seeing is the idea that donald trump -- the republican party is donald trump, donald trump is the republican party, they are married, they are wedded. there is to me no going back from that.
so the question then becomes if he starts to move out towards things that aren't in the things pence would do or even mitt romney, i think mitt romney in 2012 would have signed something on the dakota access pipeline, katie, and would have reinstated the global gag rule though we should say this is more sort of sweeping than george w. bush. the question, though, is was that -- are you confident that's what the election was litigated on? >> no, absolutely not. i don't think that's what it was litigated on. i'm not sure these issues he has delved into these last 48 hours are things he feels very strongly about. i don't think we've got on the that point. >> we have consensus. i do not that donald trump thought to himself "i want to be the president of the united states so i can sign that global gag rule back into effect." there are people in republican politics who would feel that way, genuinely and down into their cell structure that they want to do that. donald trump --
>> but republicans don't care. they're just happy he's signing them. >> that's right. >> i'm in total agreement. i don't think he could go three minutes into a conversation with what was actually in half the things he signed over the past few days. >> here comes the question then, and because of that -- because of the working hand it seems the political incentive and less son learned from the "access hollywood" moment when people started to run away from donald trump and also the way senate candidates tried to manage him was that you just -- you were yolked to him whether you want to or not which means they just need to overlook whatever he duds otherwise. is because the political incentives are whatever he says, whatever comes out of sean spicer's mouth or the president's mouth or the fact they can't pull him away from the cable news on in his office, you're married to this guy, you overlook everything to get more stuff signed. >> and i think if you were to climb inside the hearts and minds of voters on election day, many, many republicans would say, look, i'm not crazy about this guy but he's going to do things i know hillary clinton will never do and these are some examples of those things.
so they're happy with what they've gotten so far. >> this is what got lost in the election, you are electing not a person but a coalition and a group of people to be in power of the country. >> and i bemoan the fact that hillary clinton during the election never tied donald trump to paul ryan and vice versa. >> in fact, made the decision not to do that. >> the democrats are not doing that now and they are not doing that now. they are talking about how trump this, trump that. they should be looking at what paul ryan is doing, because paul ryan is deciding the agenda of this presidency as much as any other individual in the entire country. that's where they should start criticizing and they should start understanding they are running against republicans not donald trump. the fundamental gravity things is that party politics and coalition still matter. we'll see how long that endures, sam seder, katie packer, thank you for joining us. still to come, a president who holds his belief over facts and what his leadership might
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download the xfinity tv app today. president trump met with congressional leaders last night. he reportedly spent about the first ten minutes reliving the election -- as he's wont to do. according to multiple sources in the room, trump asserted the votes of three to five mill -- and i'm quoting here -- "illegals" deprived him of the popular vote. it's a preposterous claim trump has made before. sean spicer was ready to get a question on this and he was ready. spicer, having been burned saturday, attempting to defend trump's claim, took a different approach. >> reporter: does the president believe millions voted illegally and what evidence do you have of widespread voter fraud in this election if that's the case?
>> the president does believe that. he's stated that before. i think he's stated his concerns of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have presented to him. >> reporter: exactly what evidence? speaker ryan said there's no evidence. the national association of secretaries state say they don't agree with the president's assessment. what evidence do you have? >> as i said, i think the president has believed that for a while based on studies and information he has. >> see what he did there? the president believes it. not what the president believes is true. spicer used that again and again and again. >> which has been a long standing belief that he's maintained. it's a belief he maintains. he's believed this for a long time. it was a comment he made on a long standing belief. >> reporter: do you believe there was widespread voter fraud? >> my job is not -- >> reporter: how can he be comfortable with his win -- >> he's very comfortable with his win. he believes what he believes based on the information he's provided. >> he believes, he believe, he believes. this is what happens when the president's staff try to adapt to a president who holds belief that are not simply untrue but manifestly ludicrous across the
entire political spectrum. spicer was hounded about trump's so-called evidence finally coming up with this. >> there was a study that came out of pew in 2008 that showed 14% of people who voted were non-citizens. there's other studies that have been presented to him. >> first of all, think about that stat. 14% of people who voted were non-citizens. that's ridiculous. the pew study found no such thing. the author of the study tweeting today "zero evidence of fraud" but spicer's strategy leads to other problems. namely, if the president believes it, should he take action? >> reporter: i'm asking you why not investigate something that -- >> maybe we will. >> reporter: the biggest scandal in american electoral history, three to five million people voting illegally? >> i think -- we'll see where we go from here. >> joining me now, senator jeff merkley of oregon. senator, what do you make of the fact the president adheres to this false conspiracy theory and that he wanted to share it with
members of congress? what does it say about how the president forms beliefs about the world? >> well, it's profoundly disturbing because what we see is that the president wants something to be true and so decides it must be true and his staff isn't able to even talk to him about the fact that his fantasy land is not reality. so that's extremely troubling for decisions the president will be making over time. >> you had an interesting exchange with mick mulvaney who was before you today in confirmation hearings who wants to be head of omb, he's nominated for that, about the importance of -- this is a simple reality. i couldn't -- i'll play the clip then ask you. take a listen. >> i have behind me two pictures that were taken at about the same time of day in 2009 and 2017. which crowd is larger, the 2009 crowd or the 2017 crowd?
>> senator, if you allow me to give the disclaimer that i'm not sure how this ties to omb, i'll be happy to answer your question. from that picture it appears the crowd on the left-hand side is bigger than the crowd on the right-hand side. >> thank you. the president disagreed about this in his news report. he said "it's a lie. we caught time. we caught them in a beauty." what was the -- was the point of that exercise to humiliate the man who wants to be the head of the omb or what was the point you were making? >> there's a very important point here and this has been one of the most prominent examples of the president's detachment from reality. so much so that kellyanne conway had to say, well, it's not a falsehood, it's an alternate truth or an alternate fact and that is just a big problem. and my point here is as budget director you are going to have to be able to put the president's feet on the ground of reality and say we're not going to fill our budget full of what are referred to as magicals
a asterisks and false assumptions, are you going to be able to do that? that was the question i was putting forward. >> are you confident there are people right now who are able to say that to the president of the united states "you're wrong about this, that belief, sir, is not true, that is not grounded in reality." are there people he's nominated you're confident can say those very important words to the president of the united states "that's not true, sir." >> i'm not confident that will be the case with mick mulvaney but i feel mad dog mattis is probably able to do that. and i must say when the sanest member of the cabinet is nicknamed "mad dog" you know you have some kind of significant problem. >> i want to ask one final question and i'm going to ask this of another colleague of yours later in the show. do you think democrats should be voting for any nominee from this president given what he represents to democratic priorities, the democratic
party, and given the mood right now of the base of the democratic party? >> well, i do believe that we are given the responsibility under the constitution to determine if we feel someone is of fit character. that was the -- that was kind of the standard put forward by hamilton. are they of fit character? are they unfit? and that's a -- it's challenging to apply that. i do not feel it should be a situation where even before we have a hearing, before we have testimony, we have a floor debate that we say we're going to vote against everyone. i think that is unfair. i think we have to take each nominee and ask if they are in reasonable experience, reasonably grounded in reality to be able to take on this the specific job. >> senator jeff merkley, thanks for articulating that. appreciate it. still to come, tom price, trump's nominee to lead hhs faces ethics as he's grilled by senate democrats, we'll play that after this short break.
it's more than five times larger than the figure you reported to ethics officials when you became a nominee. >> our belief is that that was a clerical error at the time the 278-e was filed? >> congressman, you also reported it in the questionnaire to the committee and you had to revise it yesterday because it was wrong. >> and the reason for that is because i, when asked about the value, i thought it meant the value at the time i purchased the stock. >> democratic senator ron wyden pressing health and human services nominee tom price over the revelation he misrepresented his holdings in an australian
biotech company. price initially reported the value of his stake to be up to $50,000. it turns out to be closer to $250,000 which is, well, a lot more. this is the latest story to raise questions about whether price may have been using his position as a u.s. congressman, writing legislation on health care to benefit directly financially from the health care industry. keiser health news reported recently price brought shares in that same australian firm, innate immunotherapeutics at a steep discount offered to only "sophisticated u.s. investors." it turns out congressman chris collins just happens to sit on the company's board. while price insists he never received a direct stock tip from collins, he admitted to discussing the company with collins before making the purchase. add to that a growing number of reports indicating price repeatedly invested in health-related company then pushed bills that could benefit those companies directly. he insists it was all on the up and up. >> everything i did was ethical, above board, legal and transparent.
the reason that you know about these things is because we have made that information available in realtime. >> now, he may or may not have broken the law which bars lawmakers from trading on information not available to the public, but richard painter, who is chief white house ethics lawyer for george w. bush told the "washington post" "i haven't seen anything like this before and i've been practicing and teaching about securities law for 30 years." price has also received a disproportionate number of campaign donations from individuals, companies, and other entities involved in health care. over $670,000 during his 2016 campaign, according to the center for responsive politics. just today kaiser health news reported in 2013 price lobbied medicare against changing its pricing for a specific medical product. six months after that, the company started contributing to the congressman's campaign fund-raising committee, more than $40,000 in the years since price directed the letter to medicare officials. in any other political environment price probably, probably, would already have withdrawn his nomination. but we're in a brave new world.
foot, democrat stopping short of that rigid strategy. the senate has confirmed four of donald trump's nominee, mike pompeo won support from 15 democrats, almost a third of the caucus, including my next guest. i'm joined by senator brian schatz, democrat from hawaii. senator, there's a lot of consternation about pompeo because they felt he left the door open to reinstating torture during the cia. why did you vote for him? >> i find his views objectionable but my criteria specifically for the national security team is different than for any of these other cabinet positions because of the unique position we are in in terms of having such an inexperienced commander in chief my goal is to get as many scene, rational, lawful people in the room surrounding him as possible. that's why i voted for mattis and kelly and pompeo, even though especially with pompeo i disagree with him strongly not
just on torture but on his views regarding metadata. in the end, he doesn't make policy, the united states congress makes policy and i was persuaded by adam schiff's support for him and other democrats' support for him in terms of him discharging his duties and following the law. i would never vote for him as a lawmaker but in the end i came down on the side of making sure we had sane lawful rational people surrounding the commander-in-chief. >> so the possibility of entertaining -- entertaining the possibility of returning to a torture regime in some form is not disqualifying for you? >> well, i don't think he gets to decide that. i think that's the important thing. this is a matter for the united states congress to decide. the executive branch doesn't decide that. >> it wasn't the first time around. >> well, that's a fair enough point, chris. >> olc decided, john yew decided, there was hardly a vote on that and the people in the administration making the decisions it was legal and not a violation of geneva convention or u.s. law were responsible
ultimately. >> right, and we talked a lot about that among my staff and my colleagues, the i don't know yew memo. in the end we have a statutory ban on torture and i can't tell you that i'm totally comfortable but i was even more uncomfortable leaving these key national security positions unfill sod the same went with kelly, i didn't think he went far enough on daca and you know even general mattis who's an extraordinary public servant would not have been my first choice for secretary of defense but in the end i want to make sure we have rational human beings around a person who has occasionally -- not even occasionally, frequently showed himself to be aware of what the law even says. >> i want to ask you a political question that has to do with the democratic base. i'll show you some pictures. there's been people visiting offices of senators urging them to block nominees, to make sure
that they block the trump agenda. there is a very significant part of the democratic base that -- a la the tea party in 2009, the republican base wants total obstruction. they want no, absolutely no collaboration or collusion, they don't want anyone on the democratic side to work with anything this new administration does even if that means voting for nominees. why are they wrong? >> well, i think the important thing -- and you were talking about mitch mcconnell's total obstruction but, remember, even mitch mcconnell gave barack obama his cabinet and so as jeff merkley said earlier in the show, it's not reasonable to vote against people like elaine chao who was the ceo of the united way and ran the peace corps and was the deputy secretary of the department of transportation so we're going to have to get to yes on some of the more moderate, sane, and competent nominees. but on puzder, mnuchin, pruitt, many, many others, devos, tom price, there are going to be plenty of opportunities for us to try to block these
nominations. we're going to need a few republicans to recognize these people aren't qualified for the job and in many cases they are exactly the wrong fit. they want to destroy the agency they're being charged to run. >> and i ask you for a prediction now. will there be a single republican vote against any single trump nominee? >> i think we'll get several no votes. i don't know whether any nominee will go down. >> you do think there will be at least one no vote from at least one republican on at least one nominee? >> oh, yeah. i'm quite confident in that and i also think we're going to have historic levels of no votes for instance on the nominee for epa. whether or not we'll be able to block his nomination totally, the highest no vote total for any epa nominee ever was 40. i think we will exceed that which is an important marker. but you know to your point about the base, i mean, i was as
inspired as anybody. my wife was out there marching on the island of oahu and there were 5,000 or 10,000 people out there, people on every island. people in antarctica. we are feeling strength, we like the pressure. we want our base to demand action. the last couple weeks many of us have found that fighting spirit. >> you're going to get a lot of that. still, behind the scenes on trump's tumultuous white house. what got the president visibly enraged. plus, resisting the president in 140 characters. that's tonight's thing 1 thing 2. that's a good one starting right after this break.
inauguration compared to the turnout for president obama's inauguration in 2009 as well as an article claiming civil rights climate change and health care were scrubbed from the white house web site, well, the new president was not pleased and the perfunctory retweets do not equal endorsements and the twitter bio wasn't going to cut it this time. a short time after the messages appeared online, park employees gotten a e-mail ordering all department of interior bureaus to immediately cease use of government twitter accounts until further notice. to be clear the expectation is that there will be absolutely no posts to twitter. the national park service deleted those two tweets and a spokesperson for the department of the interior said "it was important to stand down twitter activity across the department temporarily." on saturday morning it was back with an apology for mistaken retweets from their account. all appeared to bedom plying until today. that's thing 2 in 60 seconds.
dakota isn't one for subversion. typically they highlight local wildlife like turkey vultures or a big get to standing on a small goat. today the account started tweeting messages that are decidedly political because facts are political under an alternative facts administration. the first few tweets were direct quotes from the national wildlife federation's guide on climate change pointing out there is more car boon dioxide in the atmosphere now than in any time in the last 650,000 years. the next two tweets pointed out the rise of asid di and how much one gallon of gas adds to the atmosphere. just actual established facts. for some reason, those tweet have now been deleted. then a short time later, nasa's climate twitter account appeared to pick up the baton tweeting out details on the historic levels of carbon dioxide. this is happening on the same day reports surfaced of multiple federal agencies, including the environmental protection agency,
>> the president started by signing a memorandum fulfill ago major promise to secure swift approval for the keystone pipeline. the president's actions will create tens of thousands of new jobs for the american workers and move us greater towards energy independence. >> on his first day on the job, press secretary sean spicer put us on full alert that not everything he says from that podium is going to be true. that caution has remained necessary throughout the week. take what he said today on the keystone pipeline, the divisive infrastructure project that would transport diry car bonn pollution laden tar sands oil from canada across the u.s. it's a well-worn talking point that building keystone xl will
create tens of thousands of new jobs. a state department analysis for 2014 found that while building the pipeline will require bringing in more than 10,000 workers, the total number of permanent jobs created by keystone would be about 35 permanent employees. turns out, once you build a pipeline it doesn't require a lot of people to make it work. also worth pointing out, assisting a foreign oil company in transporting foreign oil on to a global market does not, as sean spicer said, move our country closer to energy independence. keystone is one of many alternative facts that may have gone mostly unchallenged amid the myriad distractions. take what he said about president trump's federal hiring freeze at the beginning of yesterday's press conference. >> the president issued a memorandum outlining executive branch hiring. this memorandum counters the dramatic expansion of the federal work force in recent years. >> the dramatic expansion of the federal work force in recent years. it is actually a widely-held belief i think among liberals, conservatives, democrats, republicans, that the federal work force expanded through barack obama's presidency and before that.
it's just not true. the number of federal employees today is basically the same as it was when barack obama took office and has stayed the same -- around the same place since the mid-1960s. the number of federal employees as a percentage of the total work force has decreased dramatically over the past seven years, see the title of that graph "a shrinking federal work force." it would be wrong to title this graph "dramatic expansion of the federal work force" unless, perhaps, you believed in alternative facts. as we learned on the campaign trail and are acclimating to in this administration, the fact that these things are wrong does not mean we won't hear them again and again, nor does it mean the president of the united states, the most powerful man in the world, will bother to integrate new knowledge into his world view. in fact, a new report from the "washington post" suggests the president might not even be willing to walk up a flight of stairs to meet with his closest advisers. that story along with other shocking revelations about life inside the white house is next.
this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period. both in person and around the globe. >> sean spicer's rant about crowd sizes sparked intrigue about how the administration will conduct itself over the next four years. thanks a report from the "washington post" based on interviews with nearly a dozen senior trump officials, we have insight into what led up to that unusual moment. think write "over the objections of his aides and advisers the president issued a decree he wanted a strong response from his press secretary."
according to most, spicer's performance was over the top but the "post" reports trump thought spicer's performance was, and i quote "not forceful enough" and he was upset his press secretary had to read from a printed statement. the report also details a number of internal feuds between top-level trump staffers. joining me is one of the authors of that report, philip rocker, white house bureau chief for the "washington post." philip, what i got in that is there is no one that can tell the president no, that's a bad idea. >> i think that's pretty much right. the president as our reporting shows was furious over the week wednesday media reports about his crowd size, with the twitter images with that national park service tweet you mentioned in your earlier segment and he demanded this sort of response. a lot of his advisers said, look, just issue a tweet about the crowd sizes, why don't you
put out a simple statement. you don't need to make a big deal out of this. but the president said no, i want my press secretary, i want sean spicer to get out there and excoriate the media. >> what -- one of the things that comes across in your account and in numerous behind-the-scenes account, there's an a.p. account out that's behind the scenes, the president is obsessed with media coverage of himself. obsessed with criticism and feels slighted and insecure despite having become the most powerful person in the world. >> that's right. and this is no different than how he was in the course of his campaign and during his business career before that. he's obsessed with how he's portrayed in the public with his image, with his brand, he's a brander and he's taken it personally that there are people out there, critics in the democratic party and some in the media who are suggesting that he's somehow illegitimate because he didn't win the popular vote or because of other issues and he just -- he wants to feel respected and he wants people to admire the size of his crowds and admire how big his numbers are and how many people voted for him and a lot of his
advisers feel like, look, he needs to move past that and focus on the really kind of serious substantive issues he wants to define the opening days of his presidency. >> do you -- from your reporting, one of the things that appeared to me is that the president thought that part of becoming the president is once you -- if you win the presidency then everyone has to stop criticizing you. it's like you win and you get to tell everyone, like, i won. >> we're not that kind of country. >> no, in fact, it's the opposite. even the most popular presidents in any time or place are loathed by tens of millions of people at any particular moment no matter how good a job they're doing. >> that's right. and you know, this is not to take away from the huge momentum and enthusiasm within his support base. >> that's the point. you could be beloved by tens of millions of people, tens of millions of people are going to loathe you. it doesn't matter. >> and he is historically unpopular right now. the polls show a majority of americans do not approve of his performance in this transition
period and as he took office he was at the lowest point in his approval ratings for four decades so, you know, he needs to build more support, not try to push people away. >> but here's the thing, why is that the case? here's what i will say, these obsessions with slights, pursuing feuds, we saw him pursue it with the federal judge who he said was unqualified to stand in judgment of him because of his mexican heritage. we saw him go after the gold star mother because he said she didn't speak, a sort of veiled reference to her islamic faith. he's done these things, pursued these vendettas, he's had staff shakeups and staff running and leaking to the press and he became president of the united states, why should he stop now? >> well, that may be what he's asking himself. clearly he's still thinking about these issues, he's tweeting about them from time to time. he's certainly talking to his friends and some of his advisers about them. and the white house team right now, they just need to try to move him past this.
they're trying to get him to focus. >> who are his friends? >> you know, he has a lot of friends he talks to. he has family members certainly but there are people in his businesses, people he worked on at television with, figures like roger stone who have been political advisers to him for many, many years who are not in the white house but have a line into him who are talking to him. >> is he in contact with roger stone? >> he had been before coming -- before the inauguration. >> that's very interesting. roger stone one of the people who in one of the reports about the target of the counterintelligence investigation happening into contacts between the trump campaign and russia, stone was one of three people named in that one report. that's interesting. philip rucker appreciate it. >> thank you. >> the rachel maddow show starts right now, good evening. >> good evening, chris. thanks for joining us, we have a big show tonight. our guest tonight for the interview until recently was the secretary of labor in the obama
administration, he is now a leading candidate to be the next chair of the democratic party. tom perez is going to be here live in person tonight, very much looking forward to that. this will be his first appearance on the rachel maddow show ever so we're soupy -- super -- soupy happey happy to h here tonight. also we're sort of soupy, but that's a totally different thing. we're going to start tonight in july of last year, this past july, summer, 2016. on a day when we as a nation were very distracted. we had our own mess to think about, we had our own politics to focus on, we were really not noticing anything else going on in the world. july 21 last year, that was the day that the man who is now our new president gave his big speech at the republican convention. that's the night he accepted the nomination of the republican party to be their presidential candidate.